In my personal experience and to my limited knowledge (sorry for the generalizations) most people that use disguises have little or no skill ranks in the disguise skill, but people do use disguises a lot. In fact disguises as items, seem to be so popular that they often are in low stock on stores or completely sold out.
However, I find the current selection of disguises available to be extremely obvious which runs counter intuitively to the notion of the disguise skill, which is one of subtlety.
Let me elaborate, which the current disguises which are either hoods or helmets, it’s obvious that the person wearing them is trying to hide their identity because they physically cover they face. Sure, you don’t know who they are but you can tell that they are intentionally covering their faces, that much is obvious.
What I would like to suggest is the addition disguises, which aren’t inherently obvious which would allowed you to look and effectively seem to be an entirely different person altogether, which I think is the essence of the disguise skill.
How would be go about this? Well, I have a couple of ideas regarding that.
1) Allow tailors to make disguises, adding an option that enables that piece of clothing as a disguise, adding a custom @shortdescription while wearing the disguise like for example “Tall blonde man”. In the @describe you basically describe what your disguised person looks like while wearing said disguise. This would generate more work for tailors, more stock & variety of disguises and more RP.
2) Many skills have special items that go along with them, kits, enhancements to equipment, tools, etc. You could make a special item, a sort of "disguise kit" which lets you create disguises out of it. Be them temporal or permanent. You could even have a low end version, makeup, wigs, etc and then a more cyberpunk version, one which uses holograms to mask your identity.
The thing with disguises as they are right now, is that their obvious nature makes players meta-game on purpose or even unconsciously.
I’ll be the first to admit, it has happened to me. I saw an obviously disguised individual, whose body type was compatible with a person I was trying to avoid and I automatically suspected it was them and try to get away from them.
Other players, are a lot crasser having instantly pinpointed my character and ignoring their disguise completely.
With a wider option of less obvious disguises I feel, that the meta-game surrounding them would be reduced considerably. Also as it is, the current disguises are not compatible for what many of the very few people who actually train that skill want to use it for. Which is for making themselves be perceived as entirely different another person, who is not clearly a guy covering their face with a mask.
Anyhow, I understand there may be some challenges with implementing something like this but I feel that the disguise skill and the people who invest in it, deserve to get little more out from it.
Thanks for reading.